POST NEWS UPDATE: Swerve Strickland, Willie Mack & Ezekiel Jackson were going to be first Lucha Underground Trios Champions

Original plan for first L.U. Trios champions, Rey Mysterio looks back on Mania 35, Dawn Marie notes, Bobby Fish/EC3, NWA Women's TV Title

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** The latest guest on AEW Unrestricted with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards was Swerve Strickland. He looked back on his time with Lucha Underground and shared that himself, Willie Mack and Ezekiel Jackson were supposed to be the organization’s first Trios Champions. The change was made after the first taping of the title match did not go well, so the decision was made to put the titles on another team. Strickland became Trios Champion the following year.

They [Lucha Underground] put me with Willie Mack and Ezekiel Jackson at the time or his name was Big Ryck. So the tag team didn’t last very long… You didn’t see it on TV but we bombed the first match. It wasn’t really good, things were just falling apart and the next day, we end up doing the match again. We actually had a good match the following day and we were supposed to win the Trios Titles on the debut of ‘em, but we bombed so bad, they switched it and put the titles on everybody else and I promised myself, I said I’m never gonna bomb like that ever again. After that night, I sat in the room, in my hotel room. I was getting texts, calls to come out. ‘Hey, come hang out.’ I was like, ‘No, I’m sulking’ and I sulked. I never sulk after matches, especially that late in my career when I figured, I thought I was getting it… I was like, okay, I’m killing it right now and then that was just that reality check, it just like boom! Hit me and I was like, nah, I’ma sulk in this pain a little bit, I’ma figure this out. I’m never gonna have a moment like that in my wrestling career ever again.

He is currently one-half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions alongside Keith Lee. He dove into the match in which they became champions and heaped praise onto Lee for what he’s been able to overcome personally.

From my perspective, it was just seeing everybody was like dialed in [Strickland said of he and Keith Lee’s AEW Tag Title win], from second to second to second to sequence to sequence to sequence. Everybody was on their A-game. Just seeing the progression of just the little time that me and Keith working with [Ricky] Starks and [Powerhouse] Hobbs, how they just elevated their game time and time and time again, from our tag match in New Orleans, which it was my AEW Dynamite debut to our Triple Threat between me, Jungle Boy and Ricky Starks to Hobbs’ singles match with Keith Lee to our Triple Threat at Double or Nothing. Just seeing their progression, how they elevated their game is just incredible to see. I knew it was gonna be tough and The Bucks are The Bucks, they’re just a legend in itself. They’re like the top of the food chain when it comes to AEW but also when it comes to tag team wrestling in any genre, any decade, I feel like they are literally the top five in any conversation. Just for everybody to be dialed in like that is incredible. You don’t really get those moments like that with a crowd that hot in Savannah, our debut in Savannah, Georgia on top of that. It’s just all the stars aligned and I said this in the post-match after we won the championships in the ring, just seeing where Keith came from. He was just at the high of heights in pro wrestling then hitting the low of lows and then his health concerns and then not knowing if he’d be alive or even step in the ring again, to coming back to pro wrestling and coming to AEW to me, I was in the arena, in all those arenas in the height of his career and knowing that, man, this dude might not be able to be in this tip top shape ever again, to doing this with him and winning the tag team championships. I have a lot of pride in that man, I’ve got a lot of pride in our tag team. All the glory to the man. ‘Bask in his glory’ is a true, true testament to who he is so all glory goes to that man Keith Lee, you know? And for putting up with me and these promos every week.

** At WrestleMania 35, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe’s match lasted 58 seconds. Rey told Inside The Ropes in a new interview that they were informed of their time being cut as the match prior was about to take place.

A match before we went out [is when Rey Mysterio & Samoa Joe found out their WrestleMania 35 match time had been cut]. That’s how bad it was and that was very disappointing because I had just come back, it was my first WrestleMania, everything had felt great, took time on designing my outfit for that particular WrestleMania, Mysterio movie had just come out and so everything just blended perfectly until a match before we went out. Time was apparently running low and we were early on the card so, to have five or seven minutes, whatever time we got taken off, if that really mattered then I guess it mattered, you know? I guess Rey Mysterio doesn’t bring it when it comes to WrestleMania because I’ve always loved to step in there and give everything, you know? Every single night.

Mysterio heaped praise onto Logan Paul for what he was a part of in their tag match at WrestleMania 38 and Paul’s performance at SummerSlam. Rey is hoping that next time they share the ring together, they’ll be on the same side.

It was very special [what occurred at WrestleMania 38 involving Logan Paul]. Having a social media mogul come over from that industry and represent his end of the bargain into the world of sports-entertainment is definitely very special. Not only to be able to do it myself, but next to my son who also gets the rub of Logan Paul’s fans that eventually jumped over and hopefully they’re here to stay. His last presence at SummerSlam against The Miz, his performance was incredible. Definitely a person that has what it takes without a doubt to become a superstar here in the WWE so I’m looking forward to his progress, I’m excited to see his growth and I hope we can once again team up but this time, instead of opposite ends, you know, together.

** Bobby Fish was the focus of a virtual signing hosted by K & S WrestleFest and he recounted when he and EC3 were concussed in the same match when they wrestled each other in NXT.

Little known fact about this match [with EC3], we both ended up concussed. We concussed each other [Fish laughed]. That’s talent right there. That’s two talented assholes at work.

As the signing went on, Bobby Fish spoke highly of Colt Cabana. He described Cabana as an O.G. of “making it work” as an independent talent. He added that Cabana has his own lane and does very well in that lane.

You know who I do like from the Dark Order? He’s not in the Dark Order any longer I don’t believe but, it’s Colt Cabana. Colt’s a great guy. Cares about the boys, great guy. Some people don’t think so. He’s a good dude.

He’s got his lane [as a wrestler] but he kills his f*cking lane and then from a marketing standpoint, I mean he’s one of the OGs of making it work, like being an independent guy and knocking it out of the park. If anybody coming up doesn’t respect what he’s done — he was the first wrestling podcast.

And he’s got an ability — he’s unique as f*ck. He’s very, very unique. There’s nobody, there’s no — and he’s an OG. He didn’t really replicate somebody else, even though he does the Dusty [Rhodes] elbow and stuff but like — or the ‘Bionic Elbow’ — but he’s an OG. He’s an original.

When asked if he’d be interested in going after the ROH World Tag Team Titles, Fish said he’s open to it and would not mind wrestling either FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) or The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) for the championships.

Yeah, I don’t see why not [Fish responded to the question of if he’s interested in going after ROH Tag Titles]. I think FTR has them right now and if they end up back on The Briscoes, that would be another reunion I would love to cue up. We haven’t wrestled The Briscoes in a long, long time but that’d be a great one.

** The National Wrestling Alliance introduced their Women’s TV Title. NWA owner Billy Corgan explained his thought process behind introducing the title while speaking to Stephanie Chase.

Well, you know, you find yourself thinking about equal opportunity in a new frame of reference these days as you should and it’s glaringly obvious that here we have a TV Title. It’s just called the TV Title. It’s not necessarily called the male TV Title and you start thinking, well, is it a TV Title for everyone? Or is it a TV Title only for men? And then we should have a female-only TV Title. In the NWA, we do not do mixed wrestling, the men do not face the women. We have not done one match like that-that I remember in my four-to-five years of ownership so it seemed obvious it was a glaring omission in our belts that we did not have a TV Title for the women.

** From 2002-2005, Dawn Marie was with WWE. She is often associated with the storyline involving herself, Torrie and the late Al Wilson. Dawn was invited onto René Duprée’s Café De René podcast and told a multitude of stories from her time in pro wrestling. When she was brought into WWE for a tryout, she tore a ligament in her ankle her first weekend there. She hid the injury and told the doctor not to tell anyone and to wrap her up good. Marie ended up securing the job despite the pain she was in.

I tore my ligament in my right ankle during my first weekend there [WWE] in a tryout, and I remember them going — Bubba [Bully Ray] and them going, ‘Don’t go in there,’ whatever. Bubba was really kind of testing me more. He wasn’t really sincere when he said, ‘Don’t go in there.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, so you’re not just gonna do anything?’ I’m like, ‘No! No! Of course I am.’ I walked right into the guy, what’s his name? The therapist. I’m like, ‘I need you to tape this up. I need you to tape it, tape it, tape it please and don’t tell anyone.’ Larry [Heck]! Larry! I said, ‘Please. I know you don’t know me but I’ve been working really, really hard’ and my ankle was like this. It was blown — I tore a ligament and he wrapped it and wrapped it and I iced the sh*t out of it and I hid and I did it and I worked, and then they gave me the gig. It’s crazy, right?

Dawn spent time in ECW and recalled Paul Heyman wanting to sign her to an exclusive deal. Marie’s only request was that Heyman pay her enough so she could quit her job as an exotic dancer and Heyman agreed to do that.

So I drive into Manhattan and we’re [Dawn & Paul Heyman] sitting down and he goes, ‘Okay Dawn, well, this is what’s going on, this is what I wanna do. What do I gotta do to have you sign exclusive just with me?’ And I looked at him and I don’t know, for some reason I said, I go, ‘Take me out of the bar’ and he looked at me just like how you [René Duprée] just did. He’s like, ‘What?’ I go, ‘Take me out of the bar. I don’t wanna be a stripper anymore’ and he was like, ‘… oh, okay.’ He’s like, ‘What’s the bare minimum you need to get out of the bar?’ I came up with a number. He said, ‘Okay. Starting this week, that’s what you’ll get paid.’ I will forever be grateful. That man took me out of the bar.

There came a point when those checks began to bounce. There were talks of Dawn leaving ECW to go to WCW with Lance Storm. She went to meet with Heyman and when he saw her, he immediately asked her when she was leaving because he was aware of her checks not clearing. Dawn told Heyman she was staying with him out of loyalty. She added that Heyman ended up taking care of her and they are still close to this day.

So, I’ll tell you all about that [bounced checks in ECW]. So everything started going and Lance [Storm] had just left for WCW. You know, they were kind of talking about bringing me in with him but, I’m a very loyal person. I grew up on the street, you’re loyal. It don’t matter what the outcome is, you’re loyal. So, I really never kind of pursued it but I called, that weekend, I went up to Paul [Heyman]. I said, ‘Come here Paul. I need to talk to you.’ He goes, ‘Okay, when are you leaving?’ Because all the checks were bouncing. So he thought I was like, okay, f*ck you, I’m leaving and I pulled him in an office and he’s like, ‘When are you leaving?’ I go, ‘Oh, I’m not.’ He goes, ‘You’re not?’ I go, ‘No. I’m not leaving.’ I said, ‘But I want you to know why I’m not leaving.’ I said, ‘I’m not –’ because I very well can. My contract was already voided out because of all the bounced checks, right? So I said, ‘I’m not leaving, not because I drank your Kool-Aid. I’m not leaving because I am a person of my word and I will forever be grateful for what you did to help me when I needed it’ and I said, ‘I have another year left on my contract. I will stay with you ‘till the end. In a year, it may be different, but I gave you my word and I’m gonna keep my word ‘till the end, period’ and he was like, ‘Okay’ and I stayed, but I gotta tell you, Paul took very good care of me because I was loyal as a human to him… It wasn’t about the wrestling. It was deeper with us because of how it began, you know? I was from the street, you took me off the street. You took me out of the bar. There’s a loyalty to that. It’s a whole different — he’s my person to this day. To this day, he’s my person. I talk to him often. He’s my person. When I need to be told I’m an asshole, he’ll be the one to tell me. He’ll tell me when I’m right, wrong or indifferent and I know it’s coming from love.

Circling back around to Dawn’s time in WWE, before she officially started in 2002, she was offered a developmental run in 2001 but she turned that down.

So I get the call from Johnny Ace and he offers for me to go down to developmental. OVW. Not that I’m against it, but I was now in my 30s, I owned my own home. I wasn’t in a place in my life where I could just go. I can’t, I just can’t. I have responsibilities at this point and I was like, are you kidding me? I worked all this time and now I gotta say no? It killed me. So, I mean after a lot of turmoil, I wound up turning it down. This was in… 2001. 2000, 2001 and I mean, I’m sure they weren’t expecting that because everyone was chomping at the bits. [There was] nowhere [else to work]. WCW was closed, ECW was closed, there was no TNA yet, there was nothing. NWA was still on it’s — it wasn’t really as much as I see a little bit now a little bit more and I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t. I can’t. I have responsibilities. I’m not a young kid anymore. I can’t just do this.’ But they did come back and offer me a contract, and they offered me a — they said, ‘Come on in and we’re gonna try you out.’

In the 90s when she started with ECW, she had the opportunity presented to her to be on several shows consecutively. She was not aware of how she would get to those places and asked if a ticket was waiting for her somewhere. Bully Ray was not pleased with what Marie said and asked her if she thought she was special. He told her that if she really wanted it, she would find a way to those venues and Dawn said she did.

He’s [Bully Ray] like, ‘Okay, it’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday.’ He tells me the arenas, whatever and then he’s like, ‘If you want it, I’ll see you there’ and I go, ‘Well okay, but how do I get — is there gonna be a ticket for me?’ I don’t know. I’m thinking it’s ECW, I don’t know. He’s like, ‘What!? You get one TV show and you think that you’re something special and you deserve a ticket?’ You know Bubba, right? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and I’m like, oh sh*t, what did I just say? And he goes, ‘If you want it, you’ll be at that arena,’ and he goes, ‘Let me see.’ Well, Dawn got her ass to Mississippi on Friday [Dawn laughed].

** At Starrcast in Nashville, Tennessee, SlamWrestling caught up with Lina Fanene (Nia Jax). She said she does not miss the politics and travel that came with being in a major wrestling company but does miss the fans and putting matches together.

The travel, the politics. All that kind of mess, I don’t miss that.

I enjoyed creating a match with somebody. I miss the art behind it, stuff like working the crowd. I miss seeing the fans – that’s why I like doing things like (Starrcast) – because they made me, they made Nia Jax who she was. I wouldn’t be anything without them. So I love getting to see them.

** While speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Drew McIntyre said people are under the assumption that when he cut the ring ropes with his sword at WrestleMania 38, the ropes were rigged. McIntyre said they were not and he had to hit the ropes with all the power he could or the planned spot would not have worked out.

When I actually cut those top two ropes [at WrestleMania 38], maybe it was only supposed to be one rope but it could have been a disaster and I could have cut no ropes. Everyone seems to think the ropes were rigged, they were gonna split apart on command, they weren’t. It was real ropes. It was a sword, it was extremely sharp and I had to hit it perfect and thank God it worked out in the end.

** Sportskeeda has an interview up with NXT UK’s Wild Boar. He told the publication that if he had his pick of the litter for Clash at the Castle, he would want to face Butch (Pete Dunne).

For me at the moment, I would love to face Butch [at WWE Clash at the Castle]. I would love to face Butch at that event.

** JAM Project, the group that created the theme song for this year’s NJPW G1 Climax tournament, one of the members, Masaaki Endoh tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be performing with JAM Project at the August 18th G1 Climax show.

** Tatsumi Fujinami’s Dradition Pro-Wrestling promotion is hosting an event on October 30th in Osaka, Japan and Jushin Thunder Liger will be the special guest referee for the six-man tag main event.

** To promote WWE’s upcoming loop in Canada, Natalya was interviewed by CityNews Everywhere.

** Coming off of his match against Kazuchika Okada at the 8/16 G1 Climax show, Lance Archer joined Busted Open Radio.

** Once a month, Hiroshi Tanahashi is going to do a feature about body fitness at this link.

** AJPW Royal Road Tournament Results (8/16/22) Yokohama, Japan
– Suwama def. Ryo Inoue
– Ryuki Honda & Shotaro Ashino def. Dan Tamura & Hikaru Sato
– Cyrus, TAJIRI & Yoshitatsu def. Izanagi, Ren Ayabe & Shuji Ishikawa
GAORA TV Championship: Toshizo (c) def. Black Menso-re
– Atsuki Aoyagi, Hokuto Omori & Yuma Aoyagi def. Kento Miyahara, Oji Shiiba & Rising HAYATO
Royal Road Tournament Second Round: Naoya Nomura def. Takao Omori
Royal Road Tournament Second Round: Jake Lee def. Takuya Nomura

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Mima Shimoda is hosting an online workout session on August 23rd.

** The following video is from the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:

** AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa appeared on ‘Great Day San Antonio’ to promote a Mission Pro Wrestling event.

** At Starrcast, Rikishi was interviewed by Lucha Libre Online.

** Tim Storm joined the Tyrus and Timpf Podcast.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 4650 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.